I believe that cross-training is a very important thing to include in any runner’s training plan.
It allows for proper recovery and aids in restoring the body after hard training blocks. I have my runners do things like swimming, yoga and the elliptical or water running.
Swimming is an awesome way to flush out the legs after a hard or long run. It helps the body loosen up and flush out the lactic acid from hard training. I really believe that swimming helps keep my athletes injury-free.
Yoga is a great way to relieve stress and also to gain flexibility, which can only help your running. Of course, it’s a way to prevent injury as well.
Water running and the elliptical are great alternatives to running if the athlete has a slight niggle. If something hurts a little or feels tight, do not run through it. Two days of water running or elliptical workouts go a long way in healing your source of discomfort—without sacrificing fitness.
It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. So use cross-training to stay healthy, keep it fun and help your body recovered from the hard training you are doing!!
For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.